STAR-K’S COVID-19 RESPONSE HIGHLIGHTED IN BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the kosher food industry especially when it comes to making inspections in China and in some other countries that are limiting access to foreigners. Star-K’s approach to this issue making every effort to make in-person inspections of facilities has been highlighted in an article by Bloomberg Businessweek.

“In July STAR-K sent four rabbis via private jet to a fish gelatin facility in Uganda where they quarantined for 14 days to supervise production.”

There’s a lot more to the kosher food industry than Hebrew National hot dogs and Manischewitz wine. Kosher food was a $19.1 billion industry in 2018, according to Allied Market Research, which projects it will grow to $25.6 billion by 2026. Many ordinary products in U.S. supermarkets are certified kosher, with everything from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to McCormick spices having kashrut symbols, and those labels can provide assurance not just for observant Jews […]

Mashke Yisroel: Liquor L’Mehadrin Comes of Age: A Behind-The-Scenes interview with Star-K Israel’s Director of Kashrus, Rav Aharon Haskel

It is an understatement to say that we as a global society are going through unprecedented times. Due to Covid-19, the word ‘unprecedented’ has taken on new and far-reaching connotations.  On the lighter side, in the relatively new world of kashrus in the liquor industry, ‘unprecedented’ has become an appropriate term.  In general, the world of alcohol has always been shrouded in mystery.  However, during  the past 25 years, there has been a genuine movement towards greater transparency, and kosher research/analysis has made great strides in revealing the underpinnings of  the alluring world of kosher wine and spirits. With the realization that there is significant value in kosher certification, many companies have sought to become certified.  As is the case with any company seeking kosher certification, the company must now reveal their ingredients and processes to their kosher certifier. All information is kept confidential under ‘lock and key’ in the […]

A Glimpse into the System: Kosher Certification of Industrial Food

Since antediluvian times, when Tuval Kayin began fashioning metal implements (Breishis 4:22), developments in how items were manufactured progressed gradually with only incremental changes. About two-and-a-half centuries ago, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, that trajectory was rapidly accelerated.1 Since then, continual technological advances have dramatically transformed manufacturing, to the point that modern methods barely resemble antiquated techniques. Food production is no exception.

Unless one was wealthy enough to enjoy spices transported over the Silk Road, pre-industrial food was locally sourced and made with familiar utensils. In stark contrast, much of what we eat today, whether the food itself or its sub-components (which are not necessarily disclosed on ingredient panels), is processed in distant factories on specialized equipment concealed from public view. Technicians wearing lab coats in laboratories serve as part of the contemporary food supply chain alongside the more traditional growers and pickers in the fields. Industrial methods are […]

STAR-K’s Robust Educational Mission Thrives…Even During COVID

STAR-K Kosher Certification’s educational mission is as robust as ever during COVID, as evidenced by the nonprofit agency’s eclectic spring and summer seminars and programs. Target audiences ranged from food processors/exporters and mashgichim to consumers including adults with special needs.

STAR-K’s Rav Hamachshir, HaRav Moshe Heinemann, delivered a shiur on COVID shaylos in his capacity as the Morah D’Asra of Agudath Israel of Baltimore. The Rav also gave a virtual shiur watched around the world on Erev Tisha B’Av, “Being B’Shalom with Everyone”. It was part of Yeshivat Hakotel’s worldwide achdus Torah learning program featuring nine of the world’s chief rabbis and over 100 senior roshei yeshiva, poskim and leading mechanchim and mechanchos from around the globe

Approximately 60 companies in the Dominican Republic participated in STAR-K’s first virtual Zoom seminar. The successful two-hour-plus seminar was conducted entirely in Spanish, introducing the world of Kosher and the advantage of reliable Kosher certification […]

Insights from the Institute: Halachos Pertaining to Covid-19

2020 will be remembered for a long time to come as the year of the Covid-19 pandemic. These unusual circumstances have given rise to some unusual halachic questions. It is my fervent hope that everything will have returned to ‘normal’ by the time that you read this, and the lasting legacy will be the chiddushei Torah and piskei halachah that were generated as a result of this event. Below are some examples.

Q: If there are two adjacent houses with decks, with five men on one deck and another five men on the other deck, can they join together to form a minyan?

A: A gathering of ten men is needed in order for their davening to be considered tefilah b’tzibur. Once ten men have joined together to form a minyan, anyone else who is able to see them and participates is considered part of the minyan, and his davening is considered […]

Now You See It, Now You Don’t: A Kosher View of Refined Edible Oils

“שמן תורק שמך“ (Shir Hashirim Rabah 1:3) …”Your name is flowing like fine oil”. Shir Hashirim Rabah makes the following insightful observation.  Shlomo Hamelech compares Bnei Yisroel to fine oil. Just as fine oil is extracted from its source through crushing and squeezing, so do the innate qualities of Bnei Yisroel emerge as a result of our collective challenges and travails. Similarly, just as oil serves as a glowing source of radiance that fills a room with shining light, so does Bnei Yisroel serve as a light to other nations through their stellar performance of Torah and mitzvos.

Oil is an incredibly remarkable and versatile product of Hashem’s creations and is not limited to olives, the quintessential source of shemen. Oil is found in a plethora of sources, and the means of oil extraction are varied.  Moreover, there are remarkable halachic ramifications with various oil extractions.  Let’s explore the wondrous world of […]

Klal Yisroel’s Youngest Members Benefit From STAR-K Kashrus

The importance of pairing a Jewish nursemaid with a Jewish baby can be found in Parshas Shmos. After baby Moshe was saved from the Nile River by his rescuer – ironically, Batya, the daughter of Pharoah, who mandated that all Jewish newborn males be killed – he cried profusely, refusing to be nursed by her gentile Egyptian maids. Thanks to his sister, Miriam, who happened to witness this scene by the river’s edge, Moshe ended up serendipitously receiving the nursemaid services of his own mother, Yocheved.

The Gemara [Sotah 12b] notes that Baby Moshe refused to nurse from a gentile woman, asking, “Shall a mouth that will speak with the Divine Presence nurse impure milk?” The Rama [Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 81:7] rules that a child should always avoid nursing from a gentile woman when it is possible to nurse from a Jewish woman, quoting the Rashba’s reasoning that the nature […]

STAR-K Shows Appreciation to Baltimore County Police Department with Pizza and Sushi

Baltimore, MD – June 10, 2020 –Torah teaches us the importance of hakaras hatov – expressing our gratitude to others. To show our appreciation and support of just some of the first responders who put their lives on the line for us daily, representatives of STAR-K Kosher Certification paid a lunchtime visit to its neighbor, the Pikesville precinct of the Baltimore County Police Department (BCPD), on Tuesday, June 9.

Armed with nothing but piled up boxes of pizza and a large tray of sushi from Caramel’s – and a framed letter of appreciation – STAR-K President Dr. Avrom Pollak and STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Sholom Tendler made the presentation on behalf of the organization to a very grateful BCPD Precinct Commander, Captain Brandon Rogers.

The letter read:

Dear Captain Rogers and the entire BCPD Precinct 4 Staff,

Please accept this token of our appreciation, admiration and respect for the essential work that BCPD Precinct […]

GETTING INTO HOT WATER: Urns & Pump Pots in Halacha: Shabbos & Yom Tov<sup>1</sup>

Electric urns greatly enhance our oneg Shabbos and Yom Tov by allowing us to effortlessly enjoy hot drinks. However, the technological advances that permit us to use urns on demand come along with a host of halachic considerations that must be carefully reviewed.

A summary of the various halachic considerations in the usage of electric urns, pump pots and commercial urns are addressed in this article. An urn is a heater that lets the water out through gravity using a lever at the bottom of the urn. A pump pot uses a pump at the top to force the water out. In this article, the term urn is used generically to refer to a pump pot, as well (except as noted in the section about the water level tube).

Keep in mind that there are many different types of devices, and not every situation is applicable to all of them.

Heating, Adding and […]

Keep the Fire Burning Creatively

1-איז דרך טוב שידבק בה האדם … רבי שמעון אומר הרואה את הנולד – What is a wise life course of action? Rabbi Shimon says it is seeing the consequences of one’s actions. Our Chachomim, with their keen insight into human nature and the consequences of one’s actions, realized that safeguards have to be instituted in order to keep the קדושה and טהרה of כלל ישראל intact.

 2 גדולה לגימה שמקרבת את הרחוקים there is nothing more effective to draw hearts closer (i.e., relationships) than a “geshmak” meal. לגימה is probably the most potent tool that kiruv professionals have in their kiruv arsenal. The “לגימה” factor is part and parcel of human nature and socialization. Unfortunately, we have seen how potentially dangerous “innocent” socialization can create serious pitfalls. As a precaution against unnecessary socialization, our חכמים3 have instructed that certain בושח foods served at important functions must be monitored by a יהודי […]

Sous-Vide Cookers on Shabbos

Some pronounce it ‘sue vee’, while others pronounce it ‘sue veed’. Either way, it is a French phrase which translates to “vacuum”. It is a method of cooking that was first described by the inventor Sir Benjamin Thompson, aka Count Rumford, who is also credited with the invention of thermal underwear. The techniques of modern sous-vide cooking were perfected in the 1970s and have become increasingly popular over the past twenty years. Sous-vide is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch and cooked in a bath of water at an accurately controlled temperature. The water is typically held at 125° – 175°F, which is considerably cooler than standard cooking temperatures in an oven. While the vacuum packing is achieved by removing any excess air, the food will not float but rather sink and be completely submerged underwater.

There are a number of benefits to sous-vide […]

STAR-K Partners with Mesivta Kesser Torah to Bring Torah Learning to Life

What better way to make kashrus and other halachic concepts come to life than to experience them hands-on? That is exactly what the bochurim of Mesivta Kesser Torah of Baltimore did when STAR-K Kashrus Administrators were invited to the yeshiva to present an array of topics.

The four-part STAR-K Educational Series kicked off in January with Rabbi Emanuel Goldfeiz’s Shatnez Lab practicum, in which the bochurim learned about modern-day shailos of shatnez. After the class, students expressed their excitement about the opportunity that they were afforded.  Students specifically were fascinated by the degree to which we go to avoid wearing shatnez. One student also remarked, “Knowing that VBC [Vitale Barberis Canonico] suits can be shatnez is very useful to know when suit shopping.”

The following week, Rabbi Sholom Tendler taught the students how to meticulously check vegetables for tolaim.  Students had a great time searching for bugs using the STAR-K’s thrip cloth […]

STAR-K-Certified Fresko Lands United Airlines Meal Contract

Things are looking up for kosher travelers flying to Israel on United Airlines, with the airline’s recent announcement that STAR-K-certified Fresko meals will debut this month on U.S. to Tel Aviv flights. The variety of new options offered will be available from the airline’s Newark/New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C./Dulles-based hubs.

Newark to Tel Aviv flights will feature Fresko menu options such as fresh bagels, cheese omelets, blintzes, chicken marsala, kale quinoa burgers and traditional bakery items including rugelach and black and white cookies. For its youngest flyers, United is testing a child’s menu offering in all cabins between Tel Aviv, Newark, and San Francisco. If it takes off the airline will offer the meal selection on additional Tel Aviv routes.

While waiting for take-off in Newark, United’s Polaris Lounge guests will now be able to find a hot Kosher à la carte meal option which it is also testing, in […]

STAR-K & Imex Co-Sponsor  Kosher Pavilion @ SIAL Paris 2020

STAR-K Kosher Certification is excited to announce a new collaboration with IMEX Management to organize the first ever “Kosher Pavilion sponsored by STAR-K Kosher Certification” at SIAL Paris 2020 this October.

 

SIAL Paris is the world’s largest food and beverage industry event.  Welcoming over 300,000 trade visitors and 7,000 exhibitors, SIAL is recognized the world over as the international hub for food and beverage innovation.  The global kosher food market is projected to grow by 11.6%, increasing in value to an estimated US$ 60 billion by 2025!  There’s no better time to meet with a global audience than at SIAL 2020.

 

Exhibiting in the Kosher Pavilion sponsored by STAR-K Kosher Certification at SIAL provides our clients with:

the opportunity to present their products in front of buyers from every continent and all sectors of the food and beverage industry
an excellent, central location in Hall 4
furnished, turnkey individual exhibit spaces available in denominations of […]

GE, Hotpoint, Crosley Oven Alert

ONLY MODELS LISTED BELOW ARE AFFECTED:

It has come to our attention that GE mistakenly removed a critical piece of information from some STAR-K certified oven manuals. In the following GE, Hotpoint and Crosley models, Sabbath Mode does NOT control the light inside the oven. The light WILL turn on if you open the oven even when in Sabbath Mode.

Owners of these ovens should either leave the light on over the duration of Shabbos/Yom Tov or simply loosen the light bulb ahead of time.

GE

Hotpoint

Crosley

JB255
RBS160
VBS160

JB256
RBS360
VGBS100

JB258
RBS400
XB258

JB480
RGBS100
XB625

JB625
RGBS200
XBS360

JB645
RGBS300
XGB635

JB655
RGBS400
XGB660

JBS160

XGBS400

JBS27

JBS30

JBS360

JBS460

JBS60

JGB450

JGB635

JGB645

JGB660

JGB700

JGB720

JGB735

JGB740

JGB860

JGBS10

JGBS30

JGBS60

JGBS61

JGBS62

JGBS66

JGBS86

JGS760

JGSS66

JGSS66

JGSS86

P2B935

P2B940

P2S930

PGB911

PGB930

PGB935

PGB940

PGB960

PGB965

PGB980

PGS930

PGS960

Spotlight on Eggs

Jews have been eating eggs for thousands of years. How many of us have ever wondered whether the eggs we bought at the local grocer came from a Kosher bird? The Shulchan Aruch1 states that only eggs which are pointy on one side and round on the other side can be considered Kosher. If, however, both sides are round or both sides are pointy it would be a siman (an indication) of an אמט ףוע, a non-Kosher bird.

The above noted siman does not make the egg itself Kosher, rather it is a way to indicate that the egg comes from a Kosher bird. Today, we can find chicken eggs which are round on both sides; consequently, the siman as stipulated by Chazal may have changed in our generation (עבטה הנתשנ). However, it is considered an act of piety for one to verify that the egg one wishes to consume is, […]

Signed, Sealed and Delivered: The Requirements for Chosmos on our Foods

One of the popular services that STAR-K offers to worldwide Jewry is our availability to find answers to shailos on almost any topic. When a phone call comes in, our Kashrus Administrators often have little clue as to what they will need to address. Some answers end up being straightforward, some are complex and some need to be creative.

I was faced with the latter situation over a year ago when a woman called. She said that her husband’s company had brought him a ready-to-eat meal, “Grilled Cutlets and Salad”, in a plastic container from a kosher certified store. However, after it was presented to her husband, since no one had thought to request seals on the container, my phone rang.

“It’s not that important, but is there any way my husband would be allowed to eat this food?” the woman asked. Immediately, I emailed a colleague who asked me to send […]

השוק הכשר

בעשרים וחמש השנים האחרונות הביקוש למוצרים עם הסמכה כשרה עלה באופן דרמטי. ליתר דיוק, השוק הכשר צמח בשיעור שנתי של 15% במהלך השנים האחרונות

הצרכן הכשר
השוק היהודי
הקהילה המוסלמית
זרמים דתיים אחרים
אי סבילות ללקטוז
צמחונים
ערובה לאיכות

הצרכן הכשר

מיליוני אנשים ברחבי העולם מגבילים את צריכת המזון שלהם ומחפשים את הסימן “כשר” כדי לוודא שההעדפות שלהם מתקיימות. על פי מחקרי שוק, המשיכה לאוכל כשר חורגת מהאינטרס של קבוצה אתנית ספציפית. צרכני מזון כשר כוללים יהודים, מוסלמים, בני כנסיות דת אחרות, צמחונים, אנשים עם אי סבילות ללקטוז, ומי שמבין ש”כשר עדיף”.

השוק היהודי
Integrated Marketing Communications צרכנים יהודים מהווים כמעט 45% מהשוק הכשר. חברת
אינטגרטייד מרקטינג קומיוניקיישן. תקשורת שיווקית משולבת] חושפת כי כ- 2.5 מיליון יהודים צורכים מוצרי מזון כשרים].

הקהילה המוסלמית
מיליוני מוסלמים ברחבי העולם חיים על פי תזונה הדומה לחוק הכשרות. מוצרי מזון בעלי תעודת הכשר מושכים את תשומת ליבם של מוסלמים מכיוון שהם עומדים בדרישות חלאל. מספר רב של מחקרים של […]

כיצד לבחור תעודת כשרות

בחירת הסוכנות הנכונה
בתחילה…
שאלות נפוצות
תנאי משא ומתן
עמלות

בחירת הסוכנות הנכונה

כיצד למצוא את תעודת הכשרות המתאימה שתענה על הצרכים הספציפיים של החברה שלך?ך

אלא אם תעודת כשרות מטעם מועצת רבנות מקומית, תספק את צרכי הכשרות של העסק שלך, אתה על סף חוויה מתסכל ת בניסיון להשוות בין יתרונות ההסמכות השונות. לא כל הארגונים בעלי הסמכה כשרה זהים!

חשוב מאוד לבצע הליך זה באופן הדומה בו תשתמש בבחירת עורך דין, יועץ פיננסי או עובד חיוני. בקיצור, עשה את העבודה שלך! שאל ת השאלות הנכונות ובחינת כל האפשרויות הקיימות בשוק הכשר עשויו ת לחסוך לחברתך חוויה לא נעימה ויקרה.

בתחילה…

לפני שתתחיל במשימת הראיון ולמידת היתרונות והחסרונות של סוכנויות ההסמכה השונות (הדבר תקף אם כבר יש לך אישור ורוצה לשקול שינוי), עליך לדעת שארגון מהימן לא יאשר מוצרים המבוססים רק על האמון בחברתך.

מלבד דברים רבים אחרים, הסוכנו ת להסמכה כשרה דורשת:

ביקורים במפעלים
בדיקה מעמיקה של תרכובו ת וציוד
פירוט על […]

FDA Registration and Compliance

STAR-K Kosher Certification Announces Synergetic Partnership with Registrar Corp

 STAR-K Kosher Certification Director of Development Steve Sichel and Registrar Corp President David Lennarz serendipitously met at a trade show in Germany about 15 years ago, and although they never imagined  that their companies would partner in the future – the match is an obvious one.

Every company that produces food or pharmaceuticals sold in the United States must comply with FDA requirements; with its numerous multi-lingual teams in offices throughout the world, Registrar Corp assists with the copious legwork needed to achieve that compliance seamlessly. For the twin benefit of Registrar’s clients exploring Kosher certification and existent STAR-K Kosher certified clients in need of FDA registration, the symbiotic relationship was realized. The partnership was formalized at Registrar Corp’s headquarters in Hampton, Virginia, in June.

Registrar Corporation provides turnkey services including

FSMA compliance including HACCP and Food safety planning
Label redesign and compliance
Import notification
myFDA Compliance monitor
Export […]

STAR-K Kosher Certification Announces Synergetic Partnership <br>with Registrar Corp

Little did STAR-K Kosher Certification Director of Development Steve Sichel and Registrar Corp President David Lennarz realize when they serendipitously met at a trade show in Germany about 15 years ago, that their companies would partner in the future – but the match is an obvious one.

Every company that produces food or pharmaceuticals sold in the United States must comply with FDA requirements; with its numerous multi-lingual teams in offices throughout the world, Registrar Corp assists with the copious legwork needed to achieve that compliance seamlessly. For the twin benefit of Registrar’s clients exploring Kosher certification and existent STAR-K Kosher certified clients in need of FDA registration, the symbiotic relationship was realized. The partnership was formalized at Registrar Corp’s headquarters in Hampton, Virginia, in June.

“We decided we had a lot of synergy and started sharing trade show booths around the world – in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, among other countries,” […]

Medicine on Shabbos: Questions and Answers from Rav Moshe Heinemann, Shlit”a

In the times of Chazal, people would grind up medicine as needed. Grinding is forbidden on Shabbos; therefore, Chazal enacted a gezeira that a person should not take medicine on Shabbos for a minor ailment. Even though it is not common nowadays for a consumer to crush his own medicine, the gezeira remains in full force. In general, it is forbidden for a person with a minor ailment to do anything on Shabbos which an observer would realize is being done for refuah. I asked Rav Heinemann, shlit”a, twenty questions regarding treating minor ailments on Shabbos. Below are the questions and his answers. Following that, I have added source material for those who wish to further understand these pesakim.

Q1: How bad does a headache or an allergy such as hay fever need to be in order to take medicine on Shabbos?

A person is generally not allowed to take medicine on […]

Undercover: The Halachos of Schach

When our הרות speaks about the Festival of סוכות it states,חג הסוכות תעשה לך באספך מגרנך ומיקבך”,1″ “The סוכות holiday should be observed at the time that you harvest your grain and your wine,” during the fall.  Our חכמים have taught us that this קוספ has another interpretation.  The סוכה, in which we dwell during this חג , should be made from the unused parts of the harvested grain and wine, namely the stalks of grain and twigs of the vine.  These are the items that should be used for the סכך, the covering, which is placed on top of the סוכה instead of a permanent roof.

Our rabbis have further taught that this directive, פסולת גורן ויקב, includes other items that are similar to stalks and twigs that are no longer attached to the ground and cannot become ritually impure, טמא.  Unfinished wood slats, corn stalks, and palm branches are […]

A Time and Place for Almost Everything

Introduction:
Years ago, on a transatlantic flight, I had an interesting exchange with another passenger sitting across the aisle. He was traveling with his family, and they were obviously very European. Out of curiosity he asked, “What do American children eat for breakfast?” I responded, “All varieties of cold cereal;” that is the anchor of the All American breakfast. He reacted with a tone of disdain, “That is what we would feed animals!” I countered, “So, what do you serve your children?” “Porridge!” was the reply. Porridge, I said to myself. That’s the staple of the Three Bears!

Of course, every country has their own breakfast menu and what one culture might consider to be an elegant repast would not pass muster in a different district or region. In fact, the laws of בישול עכו”ם reflect these differences of זמן and מקום, time and place. What qualifies as עולה על שלחן […]

Kosher Dining at Yale University Hillel Newly Certified by STAR-K Kosher Certification

As a proud native New Havener, I was overjoyed when I found out that Yale University’s kosher kitchen would be certified by STAR-K Kosher Certification; I couldn’t wait to try it out, as I recently did, on my annual Elul trip to my hometown.

Yale University’s kosher kitchen has come a long way since it first opened to serve weeknight dinners to its graduate students in the fall of 1959. It was housed in the Young Israel synagogue, a 25-minute walk from the university’s downtown New Haven, Connecticut, campus. Most recently, reinventing itself as a STAR-K Kosher-certified facility in the Lindenbaum Kosher Kitchen located at the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life, it functions seamlessly in the middle of the campus as part of the Yale University Dining System.

Since 1999, STAR-K Kashrus Administrator Rabbi Mayer Kurcfeld has been engineering and overseeing the agency’s many certified on-campus facilities, custom-designing those which were […]

Undercover: The Halachos of Schach

Published Fall 2009

When our Torah speaks about the Festival of Sukkos it states, “Chag HaSukkos Taaseh Lecha B’Aspecha Migornecha U’Miyikvecha.”1  “The Sukkos holiday should be observed at the time that you harvest your grain and your wine,” during the fall.  Our Chachamim, sages, have taught us that this pasuk has another esoteric meaning.  The sukkah, in which we dwell during this chag, should be made from the unused parts of the harvesting grain and wine, namely the stalks of grain and twigs of the vine.  These are the items that should be used for the schach, the covering, which is placed on top of the sukkah instead of a permanent roof.

STAR-K FOOD SERVICE KASHRUS TRAINING SEMINAR IS WORTH THE TRIP…EVEN FROM ISRAEL AND COSTA RICA

Shai and Maayan Ben-Eli traveled the farthest – 5,863 miles from Yerushalayim – to attend the STAR-K Food Service Kashrus Training Seminar, held in the agency’s Baltimore offices, August 5-7. The Ben-Elis are being groomed not only as STAR-K mashgichim for their upcoming move to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India, but as the agency’s emissaries to the once-thriving Jewish community.

There has been a Jewish presence in Kolkata since 1798, when a Syrian jewel trader, Shalom Cohen, migrated there. Other Jews followed, mostly from Iraq and Syria, who opened businesses and exported silk, indigo, and opium. By the last half of the 19th century, the city was bustling with 3,000 Jews. During World War II, the Jewish population peaked with those seeking refuge. The community teemed with Jewish amenities for its nearly 5,000 Jews until that number rapidly diminished when India gained independence from the British in 1947 and, again, with the […]

16th Annual STAR-K Kashrus Training Program Draws Participants from Amsterdam to Panama City

Samy Weill, who has been in the kashrus field for 26 years, traveled the farthest – 3808 miles from Amsterdam – to attend the 16th Annual STAR-K Training Program held July 22-25 in the kashrus agency’s Baltimore offices. As an administrator for the Chief Rabbinate of Holland, he oversees the initial inspections and annual visits of hundreds of companies in Holland, Belgium. Germany, France, and Spain. “I came to the training program to make contacts and bring back new ideas for improving our agency,” mentions Mr. Weill.

David Eshkenazi traveled only 2103 miles from Panama City, where he learns in kollel, to attend the program. He signed up because he aspires to work in the booming field of Kashrus in Panama.

“It’s one thing to learn about Kashrus in the Shulchan Aruch, and another thing to learn it, hands-on,” notes Mr. Eshkenazi. “Having experienced mashgichim and rabbis – who have seen things […]

Slurpee Confidential

Editor’s Note: The STAR-K Slurpee List is a compilation of flavors certified by an array of reliable kashrus certification agencies. Optimally, either the individual 7-11 store should be kosher certified or the consumer should check the kashrus of the syrup himself by checking the back of the machine. Many stores have been known to allow this. If neither option is available, this article will address the halachic basis for relying on The Slurpee List at any 7-11 store located in the United States.

One of the ways we mark the change of seasons is by eating and drinking the foods we associate with that particular time of year. The Rambam advises in Hilchos Deos1 that one adjust his menu with the seasons, eating warm spicy foods in the winter and cool, less seasoned ones during the warmer months: hot hearty soup (or microwaved leftover cholent!) on a cold winter night, watermelon […]